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TLC singer Tionne ‘T-Boz’ Watkins Calls for Justice After Mentally Ill Cousin Is Shot at Least 18 Times By Police

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TLC’s Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins is trying to come to grips with the shocking death of her cousin.

The singer, 47, shared a series of tweets this week, telling her followers her cousin, Eddie Russell Jr., 25, was shot 18 times by police officers, causing his death.

In an Instagram post of her tweets shared on Sunday, the TLC singer wrote, “My Cousin Was Shot 18 Times Including the Face and Back of His Head! He Harmed NO ONE EVER! He Had Mental Health Issues AND THE COPS KNEW THAT! Anything he’s ever Done Was minor and NON VIOLENT! Eddie Russell Jr -A Human-Being -A Son- Brother-Friend-Nephew – Cousin-HUMAN!”

My Cousin Was Shot 18 Times Including the Face and Back of His Head! He Harmed NO ONE EVER! He Had Mental Health Issues AND THE COPS KNEW THAT! Anything he's ever Done Was minor and NON VIOLENT! Eddie Russell Jr -A Human-Being -A Son- Brother-Friend-Nephew – Cousin-HUMAN! The cops told his mother to call him out on a bullhorn 📢 USED her saying "WE WILL GIVE HIM THE HELP HE NEEDS" and He Came Out Because He Heard His Mother and They used beyond excessive force to gun him down also with heavy artillery used in warfare! 18 times? Shot eighteen times??? IF THEIR GOING ON WHAT HES HOLDING AT THE BANK THAT ISN'T A GUN! (Picture Is Posted)They Keep saying he had a gun! I don't see a gun in his hand at the bank they say he tried to rob! That's NOT A GUN! They blocked everyone off including neighbors at a 4 block radius including his mother and father and family!People could NOT go home! So no camera phones accessible is that why? COPS DIDN'T HAVE ON BODY CAMS now isn't that convenient! They Lied and told family members Eddie Jr was at the hospital to get them away from the house knowing he was dead outside the house where they killed him! They kept his BODY OUTSIDE ON THE GROUND FOR MANY MANY HOURS! First they reported he ran out shooting =LIES! Then one cop shot =LIES! Then 5-6 shots =LIES! Then 5-6 cops shot YEAH CLEARLY! But why SO MANY TIMES? Why THE AR15? They didn't even wait for the negotiator to arrive or is it that the negotiator took his time getting there? They haven't Even Gave my cousin the RESPECT of trying to call and explain WHAT HAPPENED IN DETAIL TO HER CHILD! He needs JUSTICE! His Mother and Father and Family need JUSTICE!!!! This wasn't a hostage situation! He didn't threaten anyone's life! This was a mentally iLL young man who needed help and should have received just that! PLEASE HELP HIS MOTHER AND SPREAD HER STORY SO SHE CAN GET THE HELP SHE NEEDS AND JUSTICE FOR HER SON!!!! His Mother Has Tried For Many Years To Get Her Son Mental Health Counseling He Needed! The system Failed Him and Her! #AmericaIsTainted #TrumpIsAChump #TakeAKnee #BendAKnee #JusticeForEddieJr #Shot18Times #tboz #tlc #tbeezy #tlcarmy #justice #peoriaillinois #EddieRussell

A post shared by T-Boz (@therealtboz) on

The Peoria Police Department in Illinois released a press release on their Facebook page on Friday, alleging Russell Jr. was shot and killed in front of his home as he was “advancing towards officers with a handgun.”

The incident took place on Wednesday at about 12:49 p.m. when officers responded to a bank robbery. Police say Russell Jr. headed toward a residential area, before being identified by police through a bank surveillance video.

When police located Russell Jr., they say they attempted to contact him for over two hours, before activating a special response team to the scene.

At about 3:46 p.m., Russell Jr. emerged from his home when officers shot him between 17 and 20 times, according to the department’s release.

Russell Jr. was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say the handgun he carried matched the same one that was used during the bank robbery.

The six officers involved in the shooting have been placed on critical incident leave, according to police.

On Twitter, Watkins defended her cousin, writing that police “used” his mother to get Russell Jr. to leave his home and when she called him out, they opened fire.

“I’ve watched this story change so many times right before my eyes!” she tweeted. “Jr. Was a sweet harmless young man with mental issues he couldn’t help.”